Uncle Phil of 'Fresh Prince' Dies - [R.I.P.] - R.City Unlimited

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Uncle Phil of 'Fresh Prince' Dies - [R.I.P.]

James Avery - Uncle Phil of 'Fresh Prince' Dies 

(Photo Credit: MyFox8)

James Avery -- the beloved dad on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" -- has died at age 68 ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the actor tell TMZ he died in an Glendale, CA hospital last night. Avery had undergone open heart surgery and took a turn for the worse late yesterday.  

And we're told ... his wife, Barbara, had been at his bedside but left for a short period of time and when she came back ... she learned he had just died.

Alfonso Ribeiro -- who played Avery's son on "Fresh Prince" -- just posted a message on his Facebook page.

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Avery starred in dozens of TV shows through the years -- shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "The Closer," "L.A. Law," and "The Jeffersons."  This past year, he appeared in three TV movies -- most recently, "Go, Bolivia, Go!" -- but didn't appear to have other projects in the works.

Avery reunited with most of his "Fresh Prince" cast -- including Will Smith --  two years ago at a charity event.

Story developing....

Special thanks to TMZ for this story. James Avery was definitely a household name to many of us and I can say Uncle Phil will be truly missed.


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